Remember when The Hunger Games was everywhere? Its author Suzanne Collins has decided that young people could benefit from more exploration of Just War Theory through the world of Panem, and so has published The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, a prequel covering the early years of future president Coriolanus Snow during the 10th Hunger Games.
Mark, Erica, and Brian give their spoiler-free reviews of the new book and look back on the original book trilogy and its adaptation into four films (and do spoil those, in case you want to go watch them). We talk about what makes these novels “YA,” the function of adapting them to film, and the limits of the franchise’s premise and world-building. Does the work critique yet glorify violence at the same time? Will the film version of the new novel be our next Phantom Menace?
Some articles we looked at included:
- “A ‘Hunger Games’ Prequel Focuses on an Unlikely Character” by Sarah Lyall
- “‘The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes’ Is A Lackluster Prequel To ‘The Hunger Games’” by Annalisa Quinn
- “Why the ‘Hunger Games’ Prequel Book is So Controversial” by Lauren Sarner
- Stephen King’s original 2008 Entertainment Weekly review of The Hunger Games
- “Hunger Games: 25 Things Wrong With Katniss Everyone Chooses To Ignore” by Stephanie Marceau
- “How Bad Is Katniss’ PTSD in The Hunger Games? We Asked the Experts” by Vasilis Pozios and Praveen Kambam
- “How does The Hunger Games Criticise American Society?” By Megan Burbage
- “Suzanne Collins Talks About ‘The Hunger Games,’ the Books and the Movies” (Q&A with David Levitan)
- “Why the Message of the Hunger Games Films is Dangerous” by Peter Bloom
- “10 Years Later, is The Hunger Games Still Shocking?” by Constance Grady et al at Vox
- “Hunger Games Prequel Movie The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes Officially Set by Lionsgate” by Joseph Baxter
This episode includes bonus discussion that you can hear now by supporting the podcast at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life podcast network and is curated by openculture.com.